This cobbled square is Cape Town’s second-oldest public space after the Grand Parade. It hosts a lively and colourful crafts and souvenir market daily. Apart from the Old Town House, the square is also surrounded by some choice examples of art deco architecture, including Market House, an elaborately decorated building with balconies and stone-carved eagles and flowers on its facade.
Next to Market House, the dazzling-white Protea Asssurance Building was built in 1928 and renovated in 1990. Opposite is Shell House, once the South African headquarters of Shell, now a hotel and restaurant.
On the corner of Shortmarket St is Namaqua House; Baran’s cafe here has a wraparound balcony providing a great view over the square. Kimberley House is built of sandstone and decorated with an attractive diamond-theme design.